Is anyone considering a doula? We had one with Liam, and while it wasn't a "bad" experience, I didn't feel as though she contributed anything. To her credit, it was her first birth, she was in the middle of a move, and she was about 12 or 13 weeks pregnant.
I'm getting ready to interview some doulas for THIS birth experience. I haven't decided for sure if it's something I want to pursue, but since I don't feel comfortable inviting any family members or friends into the birth room, it is nice to have an extra person in there to help so the full responsibility doesn't fall on DH to remember everything and help me stay comfortable. I haven't decided for sure if I'm going to go this route, but I'm going to do the interviews and see if I fall in love with anyone first, and that will help me decide what to do, I think. I'm definitely going to put more time and effort into the interview process this time.
I've never had a doula. I think it would be nice to have one though! Are you planning on a natural birth? If I planned on going med free, I think would be more likely to consider it. Dh is not very comforting in that regard.
Good luck in finding one! I hope it is a better experience this time around.
I plan to start looking for one towards the middle of this month as well. I'm hoping for a natural , med free birth. My first birth was everything I didn't want and my mom was there and just a nightmare. I want an experienced doula, someone that will help advocate for me and talk me through a natural labor.
Missy - I don't plan on having a natural birth, or a medicated birth either, haha! Last time I went in saying that if I could go natural, I would. But it just didn't happen. After my water broke (on its own), I went from 2.5 cm to 7 cm in less than 30 minutes! Those 30 minutes were EXCRUCIATING and I couldn't handle the pain, so I asked for an epidural, without regret. I was much happier after getting it. They had changed the formula since my birth with Madelyn, and while my legs were numb, I could kind of feel them, and then I was able to feel the pushing part. I think it mostly just got me through some painful and intense contractions that were VERY close together. So I'll go in this time with the mindset that I probably will have one! Even though I didn't end up with the natural birth I had kind of hoped for, I was so happy with my experience overall - the hospital followed all of my requests without question (I did not want my water broken manually, other than an initial check they only did cervix checks when I requested them, no episiotomy unless absolutely necessary, they had no issue with me having a doula or even pursuing a natural birth, they let me labor in any position I wanted, etc.).
I've talked to several doulas over the past couple weeks, and they all say there is plenty for them to do even with clients who get an epidural. My last doula did not seem to feel that way. What I'm looking for is really someone who can be there so DH doesn't have to remember and do everything. I know they often will do massages, aromatherapy and other relaxation techniques, and just make sure that both parents are taken care of! And then they can help me with different positions until I get to the point of feeling like I need the epidural, which is nice. They also usually provide lactation support, which I was appreciative of last time after leaving the hospital. While there, the nursery nurses were absolutely amazing. But when I got home and was on my own, it was really scary at first! I'm hoping it will go smoothly this time since I'm an experienced BFer now, but you never know since every baby is different!
Anyway, I have my list narrowed down to 4, and I will be interviewing 2 of them this week and next, and I'm waiting to hear back from the other 2 on a time or if they're still available.
Johanna - GL finding a doula! I hope you get the birth YOU want this time!!
I used a doula for my first birth and she was invaluable. I did have an unmedicated hospital birth and she stayed by my side through it all while my husband was able to manage a lot of the "logistical" stuff - getting me water, helping position, etc. My doula did a lot of the emotional support when it was a challenge for my husband to witness my animal cries - she helped him realize it was all normal and part of the process. I had a swiftly moving birth - labor for 7 hours, then pushing for 3 and they were great. My doula was still technically a student so she was free, but she had attended a few births in that time.
For this birth, I will have three midwives present so I expect between them and my husband, I should have enough support for this birth. I do have a good friend who is a midwife who may function as a doula for me and I might have a friend or two there. While with my first birth I wanted to labor solo and be focused - this time I want the energy of strong women around me to support me.
Johanna - You can totally achieve the unmedicated birth you want with the right support
Heather - Keep us posted on your doula interviews! I'll be interested to see how they go.
I had one with my 3rd baby. And I agree that after I felt like she didn't contribute much. I didn't use one with #4 and that delivery went awesome! And again, I will not be using one this time around. I think once you have used one, there is just not much of a need. You kinda know what you want and how to get it from your birth experience. As well as knowing that plans can change..
So I had the most amazing phone interview with a doula today! I felt so much more connected to her than our last doula - I was ready to sign the paperwork today! But I know I need to interview a few more first - my next is a phone interview on Friday, and then I have an in-person interview on Monday. I don't know what I'll do if I love them all - I guess just go with my gut! I have such a hard time choosing - I always want to hire everyone, haha. That is why, while I'm in HR, I have absolutely nothing to do with recruiting.